1716 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

Bevil Higgons, "To Mr. Pope" 1716 ca.; Nichols, Select Collection of Poems (1780-82) 3:114.



Thy wit in vain the feeble critick gnaws;
While the hard metal breaks the serpent's jaws.
Grieve not, my friend, that spite and brutal rage
At once thy person and thy Muse engage:
Our virtues only from ourselves can flow,
Health, strength, and beauty, to blind chance we owe.
But Heaven, indulgent to thy nobler part,
In thy fair mind express'd the nicest art:
Nature, too busy to regard the whole,
Forgets the body, to adorn the soul.